District to Hold Workshop on Minimum and Guidance Levels For Lakes Starr and Wailes in Polk County

News Release

The "Southwest Florida Water Management District":http://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/ (District) invites the public to a workshop on Thursday, Oct. 15 at 6:00 p.m. at the Lake Wales City Hall Commission Chamber located at 201 West Central Avenue in Lake Wales. The purpose of the workshop is to allow for public comment on proposed Minimum and Guidance Levels for Lakes Starr and Wailes.

The Florida Legislature requires the District to set minimum flows and levels (MFLs) for priority water bodies within the District. A minimum flow or level is the limit at which further water withdrawals will cause significant harm to the water resources and/or environment. Minimum levels are established to protect lakes from impacts associated with ground water and surface water withdrawals. Guidance levels are developed as advisory information on expected water level fluctuations within lake basins. Minimum and guidance levels serve as guidelines for the District's permitting programs and for development of water resource projects.

During the workshop, District staff will review the technical basis for the proposed levels for Lakes Starr and Wailes.

The workshop will also provide an opportunity for local government, citizens, and others to be part of the development of the proposed levels and existing levels for Lakes Starr and Wailes. Information obtained at the workshop will be summarized and made available to the District's Governing Board. District staff anticipates presenting the proposed levels for Lakes Starr and Wailes at the November Governing Board meeting, where the Governing Board may choose to recommend adoption of the minimum and guidance levels into District rules. Governing Board meetings are open to the public and brief oral comments are permitted on meeting agenda items.

Draft reports summarizing the proposed minimum and guidance levels for Lakes Starr and Wailes will be made available for review one week prior to the workshop and will be posted on the District's Internet site at "WaterMatters.org":http://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/ under the Proposed Minimum & Guidance Lake Levels section. In addition, digital copies of the draft reports will be made available at the workshop. For more information regarding the minimum levels on Lake Starr, please contact David Carr at 1-800-423-1476, ext. 4246. For more information regarding the minimum levels on Lake Wailes, please contact Yonas Ghile at 1-800-423-1476, ext. 4488.

Written comments regarding the minimum levels are also welcome and can be submitted via mail or email to David Carr or Yonas Ghile, Environmental Scientist, at 2379 Broad Street, Brooksville, FL 34604-6899; "david.carr@watermatters.org":david.carr@watermatters.org or "Yonas.Ghile@watermatters.org":Yonas.Ghile@watermatters.org.